Speech of HE Minister of Public Health at the World Health Assembly

Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohammad Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health, stated that Under the wise leadership of His Highness Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar has supported the efforts of countries and organizations, pointing out that it has funded dozens of countries in their fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Qatar has allocated US $20 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), and more recently Qatar signed a US $10 million core contribution agreement with WHO to support WHO’s Thirteenth General Program of Work (GPW13) and the initiative of accelerating the access to COVID-19 tools in countries most in need,” HE Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari added.

HE the Minister said that the pandemic has clearly demonstrated that health security is a joint responsibility, and essential to achieving the goals of sustainable development. Qatar has developed a comprehensive strategy to protect its population from the risk of the COVID-19.

“Since the onset of the pandemic, we realized the need for adopting a cross-government holistic approach, implementing robust national governance, depending on science and facts, and engaging the general public. Our high-quality healthcare system, which is based on universal health coverage, has put in place strong emergency preparedness and resilient plans, and responded to this challenge with determination and commitment. Despite facing very intense epidemic waves, we have been able to keep death rate to lowest levels,” HE Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari stated.

“Our National Covid-19 vaccination program which prioritized our elderlies and other high-risk groups of population is proceeding at an accelerated pace, and well over 50% of Qatar’s adult population have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.”

“As new variants of the virus continue to emerge, vaccine and treatment developments as well scientific collaborations are essential. Throughout the course of the pandemic our response, our decisions and choices has been guided by the science. On the basis of the assessment of our doctors and scientists, in a number of cases we have applied innovative decisions in the control of the epidemic in anticipation of international practices and protocols such as the duration of isolation for the affected cases, the time-based criteria for the release from isolation and the use of the viral load to guide the management of cases,” HE the Minister added.

“Our scientists have contributed extensively to a better understanding of the pandemic at the international level. Thanks to our extensive database of electronic medical records, several scientific research have been carried out and published in prestigious international journals ranging, for example, from the efficiency of the vaccine against variants to the duration of the immunity.”

HE the Minister asserted that during these difficult times, health systems must not be weakened or compromised. She called on the WHO and the international community to support the health emergency in Palestine so that Palestinians can receive the needed health services, and to provide them with the necessary aids and supplies.

HE Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari concluded her speech saying, “COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenge to countries worldwide. We all have confronted the pandemic with commitment, making choices, and learning along the way. It is our global responsibilities to do everything we can to prevent the next pandemic and manage it better than we have done this time. Thus, Qatar welcomes the decisions and recommendations of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response and looks forward to the process of finalizing its review, especially defining the roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholders to ensure that the necessary changes and measures highlighted are implemented. Together we have fought the pandemic, we will get out of it and ensure preventing future crises.

HE Dr. Hanan Mohammad Al Kuwari heads the Qatari delegation at the World Health Assembly 74th Session which takes place virtually from 24th May to 1st June 2021.

The World Health Assembly elected H.E. Dr. Hanan Mohammed Al-Kuwari, Vice-President of the 74th session of the World Health Assembly.

Source: Ministry of Public Health

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